Superb Leicester go top with win against Chelsea

Leicester City 2:0 Chelsea

A fantastic City performance, with first half goals from Ndidi and Maddison, secured victory over Chelsea and Premier League pole position at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night.

Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged side for the third consecutive Premier League game, and it proved a winning combination again.
Although Chelsea did some early probing, it was City who took a 6th minute lead. Albrighton and Maddison combined for a short corner and although Barnes’ failed to connect properly with Albrighton’s cut back, Ndidi was lurking on the edge of the area and fired the ball home via the left hand post.

It was a great start for City and Chelsea looked rocked. Chilwell and Mendy dithered over a loose ball but City couldn’t capitalise on the error.
In the 16th minute Castagne teed up Maddison 22 yards out but his shot struck the top of the crossbar.
After twenty minutes Chelsea regained a bit of composure and enjoyed a spell of possession. James got in down the right and shot from a tight angle but Schmeichel saved and then punched the resulting corner clear.
Albrighton then had a pop from long range and Mendy tipped it over the bar.
A clearance from Mendy then threatened to send Pulisic clear but Schmeichel had come fifty yards out of his goal to intercept with a diving header.
Vardy, who was having a quiet game, had his first chance in the 34th minute, but his attempted lob over Mendy didn’t clear the keeper.
In the 38th minute Mount set Pulisic up for a run into the area but Evans tripped him. Craig Pawson pointed to the spot, but VAR showed the foul to be six inches outside the area and the decision was reversed.
After a long and ominous build-up Mount hoofed his free-kick into the Kop.
Chelsea suffered another blow three minutes before the break when City doubled their lead.
As City broke upfield Albrighton hoisted a ball into the area. Vardy appeared to be fouled by Rüdiger but the ball ran through to Maddison who calmly side-footed past Mendy.

City didn’t sit on their two-goal cushion in the second half and should have been 3-0 up after five minutes.
Albrighton curled in a cross from the right and Justin found himself unmarked at the far post but sent his header wide. One poor moment in another excellent performance.
A minute later, Chelsea threatened when Abraham got in down the right, but he was denied by a superb sliding block from Fofana. Abraham got his head to the resulting corner, but it went straight at Schmeichel.
Fofana was soon involved again, leaping high to get a touch to a dangerous ball into the area.
In the 55th minute, Albrighton’s shot on the turn found the net but the offside flag was up.
Two minutes later a break upfield saw Vardy threading a perfect pass through to Tielemans, but his low shot was blocked with Mendy managing to stick out a leg.
City were happy to let Chelsea have the ball as the game passed the hour mark, and they were creating very little by way of chances. City’s defence snuffed out everything that came their way.
Brendan Rodgers made a double change in the 76th minute with Maddison and Albrighton replaced by Pérez and Ricardo.
Castagne played a superb ball down the right to send Vardy through but a poor touch saw him crowded out.
It hadn’t been his night, but the amount of attention he receives from opposing defences allows room for others.
In the 86th minute a Ziyech free-kick was swung into the box and Werner stuck out a leg to divert it into the net. But VAR found him narrowly offside and there would be no nervy finale.
Vardy made way for Iheanacho with a couple of minutes remaining, and it was City who had most of the ball for the remainder of the game.

The final whistle heralded a fine victory, Rodgers first against Chelsea in 16 games as manager, and saw City at the top of the Premier League with half their fixture list completed.
Rodgers commented: “You have seen the real spirit of the side tonight. We were a real threat going forward. The performance and maturity of the team was pleasing. I knew we were playing against a talented team and we had to be right on our game.”
This appeared to be the night when the media realised that City were genuine title contenders, however happy they are to fly under the radar.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Fofana, Evans, Justin, Ndidi, Albrighton (Ricardo 76), Tielemans, Maddison (Pérez 76), Barnes, Vardy (Iheanacho 88).
Substitutes: Söyüncü, Ward, Amartey, Ünder, Choudhury, Thomas.
Chelsea: Mendy, James, Rüdiger, Thiago Silva, Chilwell, Mount, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi (Werner 68), Havertz (Ziyech 67), Pulisic, Abraham.
Substitutes: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Jorginho, Zouma, Gilmour, Azpilicueta, Emerson.

Referee: Craig Pawson.

Photos: Simon Kimber

___________________________________________________

For whatever form the 2020/21 season takes, The Fox will be attempting business as usual. The best way to get a copy will be by subscription, getting it delivered to your door.
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Maddison and Barnes goals sink Saints as Leicester claim second place

Leicester City 2:0 Southampton

City edged past a spirited Southampton side with goals from Maddison and Barnes to claim second place at the King Power Stadium on Saturday night…

Brendan Rodgers made two changes to the side that beat Stoke in the FA Cup with Vardy and Maddison in for Perez and Praet. Ralph Hasenhuttl had several players out injured, Ings self-isolating and a youthful looking bench.
The Saints employed an intense press from the start, which disrupted City’s passing game. And it was the visitors who had the first chance when a City attacking move was broken up and Adams chased a long ball down the right. He got very close to the near post but his attempted cutback hit Tielemans in the chest. Two minutes later City carved out their first chance. An Albrighton low ball across the area was dummied by Vardy allowing Barnes to fire off a shot, but McCarthy beat it away.
At the other end Adams again got in on the right but his fierce shot was blocked by Schmeichel at his near post.
It was a very tight and even contest at this point, but it was City who got that important first goal in the 37th minute. With the Saints press beginning to fade City attacked down the right. Albrighton’s low cross saw Vardy swing and miss and the ball was cleared but City soon regained possession and another Albrighton cross was hoofed clear. But City were relentless and Tielemans played a precise ball down the right channel which sent Maddison in and he produced a fine finish lashing the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle. His socially distanced celebrations set an example for the rest of football to follow.

Southampton had the chance to go in level at the break when Ward-Prowse sent Bertrand clear on goal, but his well struck shot was was blocked by Schmeichel with an unyielding right hand.

The visitors went close in the first minute of the second half when Smallbone’s curling effort was a little too close to Schmeichel who pushed it away. The loose ball went straight at Walcott but he didn’t have time to react.
Brendan Rodgers made his first change in the 53rd minute with Fofana, who had picked up an ankle knock and a booking in the first half, making way for Söyüncü.
The intensity of the game was halted for a while, with Smallbone injuring himself trying to tackle Castagne and eventually having to go off five minutes later.
City gradually took control of the game but couldn’t find a way through. Vardy attempted an ambitious shot from an angle that went over and then a good passing move ended with Vardy nodding the ball over the bar.

Southampton chances were rarer now, but they came very close in the 73rd minute. Armstrong made space for himself 25 yards out and launched a shot that rattled the crossbar. As the ball descended from the heavens Long was pushed over by Evans but City were spared by an offside flag.
At the other end the tireless Albrighton crossed from the left to an unmarked Barnes at the far post, but he didn’t connect properly with his first time effort and it may have been going wide before Bednarek headed it clear.
City made their second change in the 77th minute with Pérez on for Maddison.
A minute later Saints should have levelled when Ward-Prowse struck a shot from the edge of the area, but Justin did just enough to put him off and it flew wide.
Vardy was having a frustrating evening. He had a shot blocked after Pérez had set him up, and then ran on to a Justin ball and jinked round a defender but McCarthy made a fine save to deny him from close range.
With Southampton trying to press forward they were leaving gaps and City’s chances mounted, Pérez firing one over from a good position on the right.
Vardy limped off in time-added-on, replaced by Iheanacho.
City’s second goal eventually arrived deep into injury time. Tielemans intercepted a pass, and evaded a challenge before sending Barnes in on goal with a precise pass. He placed the ball coolly past the advancing McCarthy to seal the victory.

The win put City in second place and Brendan Rodgers was happy: “At half-time we had to reiterate the importance of fighting, you have to fight for every result and Southampton keep going. We were outstanding second half and should have scored more goals. We did the dirty work much better and Harvey Barnes showed again that he is a finisher now.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Fofana (Söyüncü 53), Evans, Justin, Ndidi, Tielemans, Albrighton, Maddison (Pérez 77), Barnes, Vardy (Iheanacho 90).
Substitutes: Söyüncü, Ward, Amartey, Ünder, Ricardo, Mendy, Thomas.
Southampton: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand, Armstrong, Diallo (Valery 87), Ward-Prowse, Smallbone (N’Lundulu 61), Walcott, Adams (Long 72).
Substitutes: Vokins, Forster, Ferry, Tchaptchet, Watts, Chauke
.

Referee: Stuart Attwell
.

Photos: Simon Kimber

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For whatever form the 2020/21 season takes, The Fox will be attempting business as usual. The best way to get a copy will be by subscription, getting it delivered to your door.
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Leicester ease past Stoke into the FA Cup 4th round

Stoke City 0:4 Leicester City

A strong City line-up put four goals past Stoke in this FA Cup 3rd round tie at a freezing bet365 Stadium on Saturday…

Brendan Rodgers showed respect to the competition making only two changes – Praet and Pérez replacing Maddison and Vardy.
It took City a while to get in their stride and the home side had some early chances. In the 4th minute a Fofana clearance from a corner landed for Obi Mikel but his half-volley from the edge of the area went a yard over the bar. At the other end Barnes bustled in down the left channel, but his shot through the defenders legs was well saved by Bursik.
Stoke’s defence were well organised and a number of crosses and shots were blocked as City struggled to get near their goal.
The home side should have taken a 28th minute lead when a ball was nodded on to Vokes six yards out, but he miscued his volley over the bar.
They would rue that chance in the 34th minute when City took the lead in spectacular fashion.
Justin cut in from the left and launched a curling 22-yarder into the far corner, giving Bursik no chance.
Four minutes later Bursik got down well to block a Barnes effort from close range and City had to be content with a 1-0 lead at the break.

Stoke continued to offer stubborn resistance at the back, until the 59th minute, when a superb 50 yard ball from Tielemans sent Albrighton down the right. He cut inside his marker before drilling a shot into the bottom right hand corner.

City extended their lead in the 79th minute when a superb first touch from Praet sent him clear down the right. His square ball to Castagne was touched on to Pérez who had plenty of room to line up his shot past Bursik from 12 yards.
Two minutes later it was 4-0. A Justin cross from the right was blocked but the loose ball fell nicely for Barnes to volley it home from 15 yards.

Another campaign to land that elusive trophy is on and Brendan Rodgers summed up: “I thought at half-time we needed to be quicker to second balls and press the game with more urgency, that then gave us the tempo in the game. We have a good team that is mobile and it was about making sure we ran into the spaces, nice and aggressive.”

Stoke: Bursik, Souttar, Shawcross, Batth (Matondo 65), Smith (Collins 65), Allen, Obi, Clucas, McClean (Thompson 65), Brown, Vokes.
Substitutes: Lindsay, Ince, Oakley-Boothe, Verlinden, Cousins, Nna Noukeu.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Fofana (Söyüncü 80), Evans, Justin, Albrighton, Tielemans, Ndidi, Praet (Mendy 90), Barnes (Iheanacho 82), Pérez.
Substitutes: Morgan, Ward, Amartey, Choudhury, Fuchs, Thomas.

Referee: Tony Harrington.

Photos: Simon Kimber

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For whatever form the 2020/21 season takes, The Fox will be attempting business as usual. The best way to get a copy will be by subscription, getting it delivered to your door.
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Leicester’s New Year win at Newcastle takes them up to third place

Newcastle United 1:2 Leicester City

City’s traditional good start to the New Year saw excellent strikes from Maddison and Tielemans earning them a 2-1 win at Newcastle on Sunday…

Brendan Rodgers made seven changes to the side that drew at Palace, naming what is currently his best line-up. And they started on the front foot, launching several assaults on the Newcastle goal.
In the 3rd minute a Maddison shot from the edge of the area went a yard past the far post.
With the home side defending deep to absorb the pressure, Maddison threaded a ball through to Vardy who went round Darlow before netting from a very tight angle, but the offside flag was raised.
But after twenty minutes Newcastle began to get into the game, working their stripy socks off to close City down. And they had the first on target effort of the game, Fernández’s cross from finding the head of Joelinton who nodded tamely straight at Schmeichel.
The game then settled into a hard-fought stalemate with few chances.
There was a moment of concern in the 26th minute when Maddison bent his knee the wrong way in a challenge with Schär, but he recovered after a spell of treatment.
City’s next chance came in time-added-on when Maddison’s corner from the right was met with a late run from Fofana, but his header flew over the bar.

Newcastle looked more willing to go forward early in the second half, but it was City who had the first chance.
A lofted ball from Castagne sent Vardy down the left channel, but he sliced his first time shot wide of the near post. Once again the flag was up, though it looked like a wrong call.
Yedlin sent a ball across goal that found no takers, and then Almiron blasted an effort well over.
But City weathered the spell of pressure and broke the deadlock in the 55th minute. As a Newcastle attack broke down City raced forward and Barnes went on a driving run before feeding Vardy down the left. The Newcastle defenders were attracted to him like wasps to jam and he beat Fernández before cutting back to an unmarked Maddison who blasted the ball home from 15 yards.

A minute later there were loud penalty claims when Wilson went down under a challenge from Castagne, but VAR showed that the Belgian had nicked the ball away and Wilson had trod on his foot.
The pink-booted Maddison then curled a 30 yarder a yard wide of the post, before Barnes sent an effort off target.
After another Newcastle ball across the face of goal had gone begging, City went further ahead in the 72nd minute. Albrighton squared a ball to Tielemans, who had found some space between Newcastle defence and midfield, and he sent a superb strike curling round Schär and just inside the right hand post.

Four minutes later Justin lofted a ball forward to Vardy who half-volleyed it against the crossbar, but once again the linesman’s flag was raised.
The 79th minute brought Rodgers’ only change, with Söyüncü on for Maddison, while Steve Bruce brought Carroll on. And he soon made an impact, scoring his first goal in 18 months since he rejoined the club.
Justin fouled Sean Longstaff down the left and picked up a yellow card. The free-kick was half cleared by Fofana but fell for Carroll who lashed home a 12 yard volley.
City were out of the comfort zone now, but managed to get the ball forward often enough to avoid any concerted pressure. The only scare came in the 87th minute when Wilson prodded the ball into Schmeichel’s arms from close in, but he’d done it from an offside position. And City ended the game on the attack with Darlow having to block a Barnes effort with his face.

City saw the game out to claim three points at St James’ Park, just as they had done at the start of 2020.
The win took them up to third place, a point behind Liverpool and Manchester United.
Brendan Rodgers was happy: “I’m delighted with that. It was always going to be a tight game. We had some really good moments in first half but just failed with that final ball. In the second half we stayed strong defensively. Once we got the first goal it opened it up a little bit.”

Newcastle: Darlow, Yedlin (Carroll 79), Fernández, Schär, Clark, Ritchie, Almirón (Murphy 64), S Longstaff, M Longstaff, Joelinton (Shelvey 65), Wilson.
Substitutes: Dubravka, Dummett, Gayle, Hendrick, Krafth, Manquillo.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Justin, Fofana, Evans, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Albrighton, Maddison (Söyüncü 79), Barnes, Vardy.
Substitutes: Ward, Iheanacho, Pérez, Amartey, Ünder, Mendy, Praet, Thomas
.

Referee: Robert Jones
.

Photos: Simon Kimber

___________________________________________________

For whatever form the 2020/21 season takes, The Fox will be attempting business as usual. The best way to get a copy will be by subscription, getting it delivered to your door.
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Barnes rescues a point for Leicester at Palace

Crystal Palace 1:1 Leicester City

Barnes’ fine late strike earned a point for City, but it felt like two points lost with Iheanacho missing a first half penalty at Selhurst Park on Monday…

With a list of knocks and niggles to consider Brendan Rodgers made seven changes to his side, with Vardy, Ndidi, Tielemans, Albrighton and Söyüncü dotted around the stand. Roy Hodgson made five changes to the side that conceded 7 against Villa.
After some early probing from both sides – which saw Zaha one-on-one with Schmeichel but thwarted by the City keeper and then the offside flag – the game settled into one of complete dominance from City.
But Iheanacho is no lone striker and despite the possession they created few chances.
However, they were gifted a chance in the 17th minute when Tomkins needlessly tripped Thomas down the left. With Vardy on the bench Iheancho stepped up. A stuttering run up led to a weak and telegraphed attempt that was easily saved by Guaita.

City continued to boss the game and a Pérez cross was deflected onto the bar before Praet blasted the rebound over.
A rare attack for Palace saw Schlupp’s low cross from the left directed narrowly wide of the left hand post by Townsend. At the other end Justin delivered a fine cross into a dangerous area but Iheanacho’s attempted header saw him connect with his shoulder and the chance was gone.
Mendy was then fouled 35 yards out, but Pérez delivered the free-kick straight into Guaita’s arms.
For all City’s dominance the sides went in goalless at the break.

Palace were a different side in the second half, with the help of what was apparently an “apoplectic” half-time message from assistant boss Ray Lewington.
City were given a lot less time and space and Zaha was looking dangerous. Rodgers made his first change in the 56th minute with Choudhury, who had just been booked, replaced by Tielemans. But two minutes later City were behind. Townsend easily side-stepped Evans down the right and hoisted a ball to the far post, where Zaha produced a perfect side-footed volley beating Schmeichel at his near post.

Rodgers responded by bringing on his Trump card, Vardy replacing Praet.
With this having little effect on the flow of the game in Palace’s favour a third change was made in the 72nd minute, with Gray on for Iheanacho, his first Premier League appearance of the season.
With time running out for City, Barnes then produced a moment of magic in the 83rd minute. He bustled towards the penalty area where he was faced with three Palace defenders. Somehow he found half a yard to fire a low shot beyond the reach of Guaita and into the net.
In the 90th minute City won a free-kick 22 yards out. Despite Tieleman’s protests Gray insisted on taking it, and ballooned it into the Whitehorse Lane Stand. Perhaps with his mind more on shop window than teamwork.

Deep into time added on Pérez fired a decent chance over and City had to be content with a point from a game they really should have won. That point moved them up to second place.

Brendan Rodgers defended his changes: “You can’t play Jamie Vardy and some of these guys every single minute. Harvey Barnes is developing really well, it’s a great finish, the strike was fantastic. He’s been a real threat for us this season.”

Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Tomkins, Kouyaté, Mitchell, Townsend, Milivojevic, Riedewald (McArthur 74), Schlupp (Ayew 84), Benteke, Zaha.
Substitutes: Butland, Ward, van Aanholt, Sakho, McCarthy, Batshuayi
Eze.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Justin, Amartey, Evans, Thomas, Choudhury (Tielemans 57), Mendy, Pérez, Praet (Vardy 65), Barnes, Iheanacho (Gray 72).
Substitutes: Söyüncü, Morgan, Albrighton, Ward, Ndidi, Fuchs
.

Referee: Graham Scott
.

Photos: Simon Kimber

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For whatever form the 2020/21 season takes, The Fox will be attempting business as usual. The best way to get a copy will be by subscription, getting it delivered to your door.
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United denied record by late Leicester leveller

Leicester City 2:2 Manchester United

City and United shared the points on Boxing Day with a late own goal denying United an eleventh consecutive away win.

Brendan Rodgers stuck with the same starting line-up that won at Spurs for this 2nd v 3rd show down at the King Power Stadium.
But they were almost a goal down in the second minute when a chip from Fernandes found Rashford unmarked six yards out, but he sent his header over the bar.
A minute later City carved out a chance at the other end, with Justin delivering a good ball from the right, but Vardy sent a difficult chance over with Bailly in close attendance.
The game settled into a tight and well matched encounter, with few chances. Vardy got through once but missed the target with the offside flag up anyway.
United broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute. After Evans was pressured into conceding a thrown-in on the right United worked the ball into the penalty area. James’ low cross was touched on by Fernandes and Rashford had plenty of time to line up his shot past Schmeichel.
But City were soon level. An Albrighton cross from the right was half cleared in ungainly fashion by Maguire, then Fernandes was robbed by Ndidi and Maddison fed the ball to Barnes who took a couple of steps forward before drilling a wonderfully precise effort just inside the left hand post.

Both sides continued to press and counter attack up to the break, with Fernandes heading wide from a good position, but the 1-1 scoreline at half time was a fair reflection.

City took the initiative in the opening spell of the second half, without being able to create any clear cut chances. In the 52nd minute City won a free-kick in Maddison territory when a Fred backpass hit Bailly on the arm. But Rashford got a head to Maddison’s decent looking attempt.

Two minutes later United looked threatening on the break, but Maddison took a yellow, tripping Fernandes to halt the move.
In the 59th minute Rashford went clear down the right channel and it looked odds on that United would regain the lead until Schmeichel produced a fantastic save, sticking out a strong right hand to block the shot.
A couple of minutes later Rashford sent Martial through and he slotted home, but the linesman, and VAR, judged him to be narrowly offside.
Vardy and Barnes then linked up well down the left, but Barnes final ball to the far post was just ahead of Maddison.
Maguire then got his head to a free-kick and nodded over the bar, but was penalised for hitching a ride on Fofana’s shoulders.
It felt like a game with more goals in it, and one arrived in the 79th minute. A ball from substitute Cavani unzipped City’s defence finding the run of Fernandes who angled a shot across Schmeichel and into the net. With City chasing the game Rodgers made his first, and only, substitution of the game bringing Pérez on for Albrighton. And it was Pérez who played a part in City’s 85th minute equaliser. Finding some space on the right and sending a precise low ball to Vardy whose miscued first time effort took a touch off Tuanzebe that left de Gea stranded. This was rather harshly credited as an own goal.

In time added on a Tielemans shot through a crowded area fell for Pérez who missed from close in, but his blushes were spared by an offside flag.
An intriguing game ended with the sides getting a point apiece and City feeling happier about it having trailed with five minutes to go.
Brendan Rodgers was satisfied: “When you play against huge clubs, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, they have that personality but we played with personality and authority in the game. We’re nowhere near in terms of budget but from a football perspective we were competitive.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Justin, Fofana, Evans, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Albrighton (Pérez 81), Maddison, Barnes, Vardy.
Substitutes: Ward, Iheanacho, Amartey, Choudhury, Mendy, Praet, Fuchs, Thomas.
Man Utd: de Gea, Lindelöf (Tuanzebe 66), Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, James (Pogba 54), Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Martial (Cavani 75).
Substitutes: Greenwood, Lingard, Henderson, Telles, Matic, van de Beek
.

Referee: Mike Dean
.

——————————————————————————————————

For whatever form the 2020/21 season takes, The Fox will be attempting business as usual. The best way to get a copy will be by subscription, getting it delivered to your door.
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FOX 219 – The Leicester City fanzine – in the shops now

The 219th edition of The FOX – is in the shops now, or we can post it to you…

It features: An interview with Victoria Price – Miss Leicester City 1992-94; Opening Shots – our favourite photos of the month; Fully Programmed from December 1971, it’s like another world; Fox Diary – our march across Europe; A Winter’s Tale, who remembers Kevin Campbell?; the latest news from the Foxes Trust; Rewind – Santa visits the KPS; Pioneering Spirit – City’s first black players, Winston White and Brenton Phillips; Foxed in the Head – on a bad trip to Huddersfield, Jamie Vardy’s celebrations and a deceitful pennant; The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects; John Hutchinson recalls the 5-0 play-off victory against Cambridge United; your letters and Bentley’s Roof, and Fanatical Frank’s Christmas…

The most fun you can have for £2.50…

Victoria Price interview extract…

FOX: So how were the players with you?

VP: I don’t think a single one of them knew who I was. The closest I ever got to seeing a player was when they were injured and out of the team so they came on the pitch at half-time to make a presentation of some sort. I would stand at one end holding a big cheque and the player would stand at the other end, Filbert would be messing around in the background, Birch would say, stand here, stand here and then a photo. David Oldfield seemed to do this quite a lot and he’d be like ‘Alright’ and I’d be like ‘Aye’ and that was it.
It was the same with Brian Little who might nod to me occasionally, probably thinking – Filbert’s carer is here again!
The other thing they did at half time was Birch pulling out a winning number that was on the back of the programme that someone had bought. So I had to scribble the number on the back of my hand and put it on to a big card which I then carried around the pitch for fans to see. And I guarantee at EVERY game some idiot would shout ‘Is that your phone number?’ and I’d be like ‘Yes, of course it is, ring it, go on, call me’. That big bit of card was handy when we got round to the away fans because you could hold it up in front of you and use it as a shield.

___________________________________________________

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Leicester leapfrog Spurs into second place

Tottenham Hotspur 0:2 Leicester City

A fine performance from City saw them beat Spurs 2-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, ensuring second place for Christmas for the second year running.

Brendan Rodgers made three changes to his side bringing in Evans back from suspension, Albrighton, and fit-again Castagne.
Spurs did some early probing and won a couple of free-kicks, but Son’s delivery was poor on both. But it was City who were enjoying more possession with the home side looking content to sit back and wait for a break.
Clear cut chances were rare in a tight first half. Fofana got on the end of a Maddison free-kick but sent his header over the bar. Tielemans then sent a superb flick over the Spurs defence but Dier intercepted before Maddison could get to it. Then Fofana backheeled to Vardy, but there was too much traffic for him to do any damage with his shot.
A rare foray upfield for Tottenham saw Son drag a shot well wide. And then on the half hour Schmeichel, a spectator for a long period, was forced into a regulation save to keep a Kane free-kick out.
Spurs’ best chance of the half came just before the break when Kane arrived late for a corner but headed over the bar from close in. But just when it looked as though the sides would go in goalless, City went ahead.
With seconds of the half left Aurier barged into the back of Fofana on the edge of the area, even though he was heading away from goal. Referee Craig Pawson didn’t appear to see it, but VAR told him to have another look. It was a blatant penalty and Vardy crashed it down the middle to give City a half time lead.

José Mourinho brought Bale on for the second half, but it was City who started in lively fashion.
Maddison sent a thumping long range effort straight at Lloris, and then thought he had put City two goals up in the 48th minute. A fine ball forward from Justin sent Maddison though the Spurs defence and he slotted past Lloris, but VAR judged him offside by the finest of margins.
Spurs improvement never arrived, City pressed them all over the park and this was summed up by the performance of Albrighton who covered a huge amount of ground.
City got their second goal just before hour, when Albrighton drove down the right and swung a cross over to Vardy at the far post. Vardy outfought Sissoko to head the ball across goal where it struck Alderweireld on the thigh leaving Lloris stranded.
Rodgers then brought Amartey on for Castagne with him completing an hour on his comeback.
There was plenty of the game left at this stage, but City saw it out well. Schmeichel got down well to block a low Kane shot, and then performed acrobatics to keep out a Son shot after a corner was nodded on to him at the far post.
Spurs’ afternoon was encapsulated by Bale, who lined up majestically for a free-kick which he then hoofed ten yards over the bar.
At the other end Tielemans scooped a shot over the bar after a cutback from Vardy teed him up nicely.
With two minutes remaining Vardy limped off to be replaced by Iheancho with what looked a like a repeat of his troublesome groin injury.
But the game was won by then, with Spurs looking deflated and City managing the game well.
The victory saw them overtake Spurs to spend Christmas Day as Liverpool’s nearest challengers.

Brendan Rodgers, who had finally beaten his old mentor José Mourinho, commented: “We’ve seen Tottenham all season and how dangerous they are and how difficult they are to play against, and I thought we nullified that threat really well. We can play our football too, which was very pleasing.”

Tottenham: Lloris, Aurier (Winks 64), Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilón, Sissoko, Højbjerg, Lo Celso (Lucas Moura 49), Ndombele (Bale 45), Son Heung-Min, Kane.
Substitutes: Doherty, Hart, Rodon, Bergwijn, Davies, Alves Morais.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Justin, Fofana, Evans, Castagne (Amartey 60), Ndidi, Tielemans, Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes (Praet 84), Vardy (Iheanacho 88).
Substitutes: Ward, Pérez, Ünder, Mendy, Fuchs, Thomas
.

Referee: Craig Pawson
.

——————————————————————————————————

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Leicester come unstuck against the Toffees

Leicester City 0:2 Everton

City lost their fourth home game of the season to an impressive Everton side at the KPS on Wednesday night.

Brendan Rodgers made three changes to his side bringing in Mendy, Barnes and Ünder, for his first Premier League start. Ndidi moved back into defence in place of the suspended Evans.
City went close in the second minute when good work from Barnes down the left led to Vardy setting up Tielemans, but his low shot whistled past the left hand post.
Maddison then had a shot blocked by Keane, before Everton began to take a grip on the game.
And the Toffees went ahead in the 21st minute. Richarlison cut in from the left sent a shot round the defence, which meant that Schmeichel saw it late and could only help it into the net.
City should have levelled two minutes later when Justin delivered a fine cross into the area, but Vardy’s header from close in went straight into Olsen’s clutches.
Everton defended magnificently and City’s chances were severely restricted, not helped by their passing game going awry. Ünder had one effort deflected over the bar, and then fired a shot in from the edge of the area, but it didn’t test Olsen. At the other end Schmeichel did well to smother a Sigurðsson effort, and it was Everton who led at the break.

Whenever City tried to get something moving Everton were happy to take a yellow for the team and Holgate and Godfrey were booked early in the second half for tactical fouls. Tielemans sent another shot off target as Everton looked comfortable in defence.
Brendan Rodgers made his first change in the 61st minute, with Ünder replaced by Pérez. City were looking frustrated by now and Maddison blazed a shot well over the bar from a good position.
That frustration increased in the 72nd minute when Everton went further ahead, with City unable to cope with a set piece yet again. Sigurðsson’s corner from the left was headed downwards by Keane. Schmeichel managed to palm it away and then produced a brilliant reaction save to tip Calvert-Lewin’s follow up shot onto the bar. But Holgate reacted quicker than the City defence to prod the loose ball home from close in.
Rodgers brought Iheancho on for Mendy but City’s luck didn’t improve. Lee Mason pointed to the spot after Pérez looked to have been tripped by Gomes in the area, but VAR ruled that he’d got a touch on the ball.
City finally got the ball in the net late on when a corner was nodded on by Vardy for Pérez to net from close in, but he was offside.
That summed up City’s night. It was the fourth home defeat of the season and the problems defending set-pieces have still not been cured.
Brendan Rodgers commented: “We made some chances but didn’t show enough quality in the final third. I think we should have had a penalty. The referee made the right decision yet somehow overturns it. The players have been very good up to this point but there’s going to be games where we need to show that bit more.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Justin, Fofana, Ndidi, Fuchs, Tielemans, Mendy (Iheanacho 73), Ünder (Pérez 61), Maddison, Barnes, Vardy.
Substitutes: Morgan, Albrighton, Ward, Praet, Thomas.
Everton: Olsen, Holgate, Mina, Keane, Godfrey, Sigurdsson, Allan (André Gomes 41), Doucouré, Iwobi (Kenny 90), Calvert-Lewin (Gordon 90), Richarlison.
Substitutes: Pickford, Tosun, Bernard, Davies
.

Referee: Lee Mason
.

——————————————————————————————————

For whatever form the 2020/21 season takes, The Fox will be attempting business as usual. The best way to get a copy will be by subscription, getting it delivered to your door.
You can pay online via Paypal…

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Maddison shines as Leicester see off Brighton

Leicester City 3:0 Brighton & Hove Albion

A superb first half performance from City sealed a 3-0 victory against Brighton at the KPS on Sunday night with James Maddison back to his best…

Brendan Rodgers made six changes to his side bringing back Schmeichel, Fuchs, Albrighton, Maddison, Pérez and Vardy after the win against AEK.
Brighton were enjoying a good run of away form and had their chances in a lively opening spell.
Albrighton sent a well struck shot straight at Ryan, before Jahanbakhsh forced a good save from Schmeichel at the other end.
Brighton wasted a great chance to go ahead in the 9th minute when Welbeck was sent clear on goal, but Schmeichel stuck out a leg to block his low shot.
Maddison, enjoying a freer role, sent a low shot into the side-netting, before a tactical tweak swung the game in City’s favour. Justin and Albrighton switched flanks and Brighton struggled to cope with the threat down the right.
In the 26th minute Tielemans sent a ball skidding across the penalty area, and Justin almost reached it before March intercepted. The loose ball fell for Vardy who struck the near post as he tried to convert from a difficult angle. But City had a lead a minute later. City passed their way through Brighton’s midfield and Justin delivered an early cross from the right. The ball was half cleared but fell for Maddison who slotted home with a precise low drive from the edge of the area.

Another first time cross from Justin picked out Pérez, but his low shot was tipped round the post at full stretch by Ryan.
It was all City now, and they added to their lead in the 41st minute. Yet again Justin delivered from the right and Vardy nipped in to apply the finishing touch from close in. VAR examined a close offside call, but the goal was good.
And they got another one just before the break. Vardy cut a ball back for Maddison who, faced with three defenders, danced his way into some space before curling a magnificent finish into the top left hand corner.

With the game won, and some tough fixtures on the near horizon, City took their foot off the gas in the second half. Brighton improved after the break, but were contained by City. Maupay attempted an overhead kick but didn’t quite connect and Schmeichel easily fielded it.
Rodgers made his first change in the 62nd minute, bringing Barnes on for Pérez.
Fuchs then produced one of his beautifully struck shots from range, and Ryan tipped it away, but the offside flag was raised. Then, from a short corner which City had favoured all night, Ndidi sent a wild shot well over.

Praet and Mendy were brought on for Ndidi and Maddison as the game played itself out, often at walking pace. There were few noteworthy incidents at either end in a game that had been won before half time.

On a day when Liverpool and Tottenham had both dropped points City moved up to 3rd place, just a point behind them.
Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for Maddison: “He has such quality. What makes it even better is he hardly trained at all this week. He had an issue with his knee so we took him out of our midweek game. You see his immense quality – his first goal and then to cut in for his second. He’s a fantastic player.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Fofana, Evans, Fuchs, Albrighton, Ndidi (Mendy 80), Tielemans, Justin, Pérez (Barnes 62), Maddison (Praet 74), Vardy.
Substitutes: Morgan, Ward, Iheanacho, Ünder.
Brighton: Ryan, Veltman, White, Dunk, Burn, Groß, Bissouma (MacAllister 72), Jahanbakhsh (Alzate 55), Maupay, March, Welbeck (Connolly 62).
Substitutes: Webster, Trossard, Steele, Pröpper
.

Referee: Martin Atkinson
.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

——————————————————————————————————

For whatever form the 2020/21 season takes, The Fox will be attempting business as usual. The best way to get a copy will be by subscription, getting it delivered to your door.
You can pay online via Paypal…

FOX Subs 2020-21 – UK click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Europe click HERE.

FOX Subs 2020-21 – Rest of the World click HERE.

You can also buy The FOX Summer Special on its own HERE.

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